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Emergency Care Plans (ECPs): going through the process

Our parliamentary and public affairs coordinator, Glyn Hayes shares his experience of making an emergency care plan

What is an ECP?
An Emergency Care Plan (ECP) is a crucial document that a spinal cord injury specialist clinician will prepare with you, in preparation for any planned or unplanned admissions to a non – SCI specialist centre. They will discuss and record your needs and preferences in advance, encompassing the essential aspects of care and treatment you require to keep safe. It serves as a roadmap for healthcare providers, ensuring that they understand your specific needs and can respond appropriately when planned or urgent situations arise.

My experience with ECPs
In February, I finally decided to complete an ECP with SIA. Here’s what I learned

ECP compilation process:

  • ECPs are meticulously compiled by our specialist clinicians. These clinicians have the expertise to create comprehensive plans tailored to individual requirements.
  • The process involves a few essential steps.
     1. Initial contact: using the search facility on the Your physical health page on our website I found the clinician for my region and arranged a date for a virtual meeting.  This process included a few general questions in advance of our meeting.
     2. Detailed Meeting: we then had a virtual meeting, which lasted approximately 30 minutes.
    3. Care Needs Exploration: the meeting delves into detail about various care aspects, including skin care, bladder management, bowel routines, and any other specific needs you may have.
    4. After the appointment, the clinician emailed over the ECP for me to check over and ensure it was correct and nothing had been missed.

Hospital admissions and ECPs:

  • When admitted to a hospital, presenting your ECP to the medical staff is crucial. It provides clear instructions on the care you require.
  • Since ECPs are prepared by specialist clinicians, hospital staff should take notice and follow the outlined guidelines.
  • You should ensure that a family member has a copy of your ECP in case of an emergency visit to the hospital.

Benefits of having an ECP:

  • Clarity: an ECP ensures that your care needs are explicitly communicated, leaving no room for ambiguity.
  • Timely response: in emergencies, healthcare providers can swiftly address your specific needs based on the ECP.
  • Peace of mind: knowing that your care plan is documented and accessible provides peace of mind for both you and your family.

Conclusion
Emergency Care Plans are more than just a document; they are a lifeline during critical moments. If you haven’t considered creating an ECP, I encourage you to explore this option. It’s a proactive step toward ensuring that your care aligns with your wishes, even in the most challenging circumstances.

Remember! Your health matters, and an ECP empowers you to advocate for it effectively.

Alongside the ECP we are advocating for change within NHS services.  Bowel care is one of the most highlighted issues and for a short period we have a petition running calling on the government to improve bowel care provision.

click here to sign our petition today

Disclaimer: The information provided here is based on my personal experience and general knowledge. Always consult with healthcare professionals for personalised advice.